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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017. 5:27 pm CST.

By Richard Harrison: As this process already involves international actors and interests….Guatemala and Belize will still spend many millions in ”popular consultation” and referendum vote to see if  the people are in agreement to take this imaginary “diferendum” which was ANGLO-GUATEMALAN…and because of their unilateral  decisions they change it to BELIZE-GUATEMALA DIFERENDUM…to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

They should better use those millions to provide better public services to their people. But they will not.

So what can be expected of the vote in Belize?

And as the “wise leaders” of both countries have given no direction for what should happen after the NO vote…what direction should we take?

There exist some Guatemalans in Belize that quickly forgot why they left their country behind…to find better quality and conditions in Belize…thus in Belize the ”NO’ vote to take this question to the ICJ will be 70%…so this question will never reach to the ICJ.

Belizeans don’t want to be Guatemalans…not at all…with all due respect…and they see this process as a another form of aggression where the powerful  and rich  seek yet again to dictate our future…even though Belize is recognized worldwide as an independent nation since 1981.

There cannot be Guatemalans that think it is right to take by force all what Belize has developed since 1862…155 yrs… without a penny of Guatemalan contribution. They should take into account that there can be chaos in Belize if the citizens of Guatemalan origin (made citizens contrary to the Belizean constitution) comes out vociferously in favor of a YES vote.

There are reasons why the Belizean people do not consider it a good idea to go to ICJ, among them:

  • Belize already is and lives independent of Guatemala for more than 155 yrs, with all its territory and borders recognized by the United Nations.
  • To go to a court to ask them if Belize in reality is independent/sovereign would give cause to any doubt and jeopardize the integrity of #1.
  • It is Guatemala who threatens Belize, and not Belize threatening Guatemala…it is a challenge for the people of Guatemala to resolve…if they want to live in peace with a good neighbor…enjoying the systems and linkages that Belize has in the whole world….or continue threatening, creating discord and constant political and border problems.
  • Belizeans know that their quality of life is much better than in Guatemala…and no one wants to go in the direction of less. There are about 55,000 Guatemalans who have found refuge in Belize …there are thousands of families with good relationship and living well on both sides of the border…a border that everyone recognizes.
  • Guatemala has never lived up to its agreements with Belize…at this very moment they are pretending to control the Sarstoon Island, which is part of Belize. There is no reason to believe that they will respect the decision of the ICJ if it is contrary to their absurd claim.
  • The process has changed a lot…at first both countries should have the referendum vote on the same day…now Guatemala has placed a date for their referendum which will be March 2018…and Belize is still without date…but the Belize vote will be after March 2018. Belize law requires 2/3 majority vote in its House of Representative to change the constitution…but under international pressure, in appeasement of Guatemala, the traitorous Government of Belize has passed a special law to set the threshold at only 50% for this referendum vote. If the Guatemalans say NO…why would Belize say YES? There would be no sense in that.

The solution should follow a process of bilateral negotiations over reasonable time (there should be no rush)…that begins with Guatemala recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Belize with the borders defined as it is at the United Nations…allow Belizeans their inalienable right to self-determination…without reservations…and open bridges of cooperation in education, health, security, energy, transportation, infrastructure, investments , commerce, tourism, etc…things that can improve the quality and conditions for the citizens of both countries…living in peace and respect…best of sisters…and a good example for the whole world.

The other option is to live like the Palestinians and Israelis…permanent war…something that no one who wants good for their country would desire.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.


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